Helium, an encrypted wireless network, will move from its blockchain to Solana.
In an interview with DecryptNetwork founder, Amir Halim, explains the challenges Helium has faced with its current technology and the opportunities available at Solana.
Helium, the wireless network powered by cryptocurrency, will officially move from its blockchain to Solana After a community vote on a proposal. In the end, more than 81% of the vote based on the token He went for immigration.
It can happen quickly. The Helium Foundation announced the fourth-quarter launch of the transition, and in an interview at the Helium House event in New York City on Tuesday, Amir Halim, network co-founder and CEO of Nova Labs, said Decrypt He is “optimistic” about achieving this goal.
According to Halim, the Nova Labs team – which represents the founders and primary contributors to the decentralized helium network – is already working on off-chain oracles to enable the new Solana-driven design. He described future work on the series, including minting and redeeming tokens, as “much easier” by comparison.
It’s another major step for the helium network. Helium started With a decentralized wireless network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensors and trackers, rewarding users icons To run nodes and share their connection. Now this network close to a million Active nodes after rapid growth since the beginning of 2021.
Helium is now aiming to do the same with its 5G smartphone network, which now has 4,500 active nodes — and only Nova Labs. Helium Mobile announcedan upcoming phone service that uses both Helium 5G and T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network.
But to scale those networks and Accommodates other wireless protocols In the future, Halim said, the infrastructure needs to change.
When Helium started building the network in 2017, he said that even then the developers didn’t believe it Ethereum– With limited data transfer rate and sometimes high fees – it can handle a widely distributed wireless network. Other options were limited at the time, so the founders built their own Layer 1 blockchain.
But this also caused problems. Halim said that everything is “too intertwined” in the current model, including proof of coverage and Helium’s data transmission elements, and that trying to fix or change something could have unintended consequences with other parts of the network.
“Everything is like a big, homogeneous mass,” said Halim. Decrypt. “Iterating quickly was difficult. Everything you touch… It was a huge Jenga-like tower, basically. One block moved and the thing started to wiggle, and we had downtime and outages.”
Helium’s LoRaWAN (IoT) network coverage is now widespread, but Halim said it needs a more reliable backbone to attract certain types of companies and customers who can take advantage of that coverage for their products. “Reliability [network data] Packages have to be basically perfect, right? He said. “Like, 98% is not good enough, 99% is not good enough.”
In other words, at least in light of Haleem and Nova Labs, the move isn’t so much about Solana as about scaling and expanding the helium ecosystem. Other Layer 1 blockchain networks could be viable as well. But there are reasons why Helium’s core developers chose Solana after months of study.
The first is speed, as Solana can handle thousands of transactions per second at peak: “You can do things and they happen instantly,” Halim said. He likened the performance to that of the Web2 app, which is perfect considering what many of Helium’s users claim to be non-cryptocurrency owners.
Solana has dealt with his own stability issues as well, including downtime Late like June—which some helium proponents were quick to note When the proposal was launched. However, the following Recent network upgradesSolana has appeared more stable since when. Halim said Solana’s developers are “crazy focused on this issue,” and he’s confident that stability issues won’t persist.
There is also a more technical reason why the Helium core team chose Solana: Halim said that Helium’s existing private keys are compatible with Solana, which is not the case with some other blockchains. This should facilitate the transition for users, so that tokens can “magically” move to Solana without any “positive action” required for existing owners,” he added.
More broadly, Helium developers wanted to adopt a more mature blockchain network to take advantage of the broader crypto ecosystem, allowing access to additional wallets, DeFi Protocols, many applications and decentralized marketplaces. Users will be able to easily bring Solana-based HNT tokens elsewhere, in other words, and explore more of the crypto world.
Joining the existing Solana space means Helium developers can focus solely on the wireless network, rather than having to build an entire ecosystem around it.
“For me, this is the biggest win,” said Halim. “That’s really the story here.”
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